Having won its first three games of the season, the La Cañada High football team traveled to Ventura County set to face a tremedous test.
Looking to begin a season with four straight wins for the first time since 2005 and ranked in their division, the Spartans took on arguably one of their toughest opponents in steady Fillmore.
La Cañada struggled to get things going on both sides of the ball, finishing with 125 yards of offense and three turnovers, en route to a 48-0 nonleague road loss.
La Cañada (3-1) looked to use the game as a measuring stick to see where it stands with Rio Hondo League play a couple of weeks away. The Spartans came in ranked ninth in CIF Southern Section Division XIV.
“We knew Fillmore is a good team and they showed it on offense and defense and it made things hard for us at times,” La Cañada coach Jason Sarceda said. “Fillmore is solid and they were on us quick quite often.
“We had some guys injured throughout the week and they didn’t play. We had some guys on our offensive line who didn’t play because of the injuries. There are things we can take from the game and learn.”
Fillmore (4-0) dominated throughout most of the game, showing why it is ranked No. 2 in Division XIII behind Alhambra.
The Flashes, who are in the Citrus Coast League, took a 7-0 lead on a one-yard touchdown run by Bryce Nuñez with 5:46 left in the first quarter.
Nuñez made it 14-0 on a 45-yard touchdown run with 3:16 to go in the opening frame. Nuñez finished with 110 yards rushing in 10 carries.
The Flashes made it 21-0 with 2:20 to play in the second quarter when quarterback Jared Schieferle, who completed 19 of 30 passes for 236 yards and five touchdowns, tossed a 12-yard scoring pass to Dylan Sierra.
The Spartans had difficulty adjusting to Fillmore’s blitzing, committing three second-half turnovers that the Flashes converted into three touchdowns.
La Cañada quarterback Brandon Reese (10 of 23 for 115 yards and two interceptions) was picked off by Fillmore’s Paget Ekelund on the Spartans 45-yard line on the first play from scrimmage in the second half.
Schieferle connected with Ryan Gonzalez (six catches for 138 yards and three touchdowns) on an 18-yard touchdown pass with 10:43 left in the third quarter to extend the lead to 28-0.
Ekelund intercepted another pass by Reese on the ensuing possession at the Fillmore 20-yard line before Gonzalez hauled in a 52-yard touchdown pass from Schieferle to make it 35-0 with 7:31 left.
Fillmore’s Tyler Coert recovered a fumble off a botched snap at the La Cañada 25-yard line, leading to a 12-yard touchdown pass from Schieferle to Sierra to pad the lead to 42-0 with 5:39 remaining in the third quarter.
Fillmore closed out the scoring on the final play of the third quarter on a 48-yard touchdown pass from Schieferle to Gonzalez.
“We have a pretty good team on both sides of the ball,” Fillmore coach Sean Miller said. “We have a lot of seniors back who started last year and they make a big difference.
“La Cañada has a good coaching staff and they came ready to play. They are physical. We were able to pull away from them in the second half and go from there.”
La Cañada, which opened with wins against Hacienda Heights Wilson, Glendale and Viewpoint, will meet host South El Monte in a nonleague game at 7 p.m. Thursday.
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